Colin Wilson in his book The Outsider talks through a critique of literature about a clan of individuals, referred by him as ‘the outsiders’. He states that one of their primary problems is that they “think too much and too deep“. That premise and a beautiful exposition of’aesthetics’ by Joyce in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which I am reading now, led me to this train of thought :
Human being, the species (for convenience referred to as ‘man’ hereafter), consists of two parts – commonly referred to as ‘body’ and ‘spirit’. Since thousands of meanings have been attributed to these two words, for the sake of clarity, I propose to use a different terminology (which I believe is more exact in definition). Thus, let me say that man consists of the ‘touchable’ and the ‘untouchable’ parts (‘touch’ here referring to the physical sensory perception).
The touchable part, by its very nature, is more susceptible to violence and subjection. The untouchable part, though potentially susceptible to both, is not only less so but also protected by its very nature – intangibility.
However, for an outsider, the untouchable part becomes, unconciously, more vulnerable than the touchable. The culprit being the fact that they “think too much and too deep”. Another reason probably is that they tend to employ too often, in their scheme of logical analysis, a useful but dangerously double-edged tool – induction.
Therefore, most of their formative years (which, by the way, has nothing to do with their age) is spent in a psychological incomprehension of the effect of such violence on their untouchable part – more often than not, they being unaware of its cause. Consequently, their untouchable part becomes subjected to either of these notions – that life is worthless or that he is.
It is only when the outsider becomes aware of his strange situation, i.e abnormal vulnerability of his untouchable part, that he becomes free.Then he finally figures out that life is not only ‘not wothless’ but also constantly enjoyable. By one act of consciousness, the very disease of thinking “too much and too deep” becomes an immunity.